Former Senator Richard J. Gordon has urged the government to approve the proposed increase in Social Security System pensions so that the next administration would be compelled to get more investors and to create more jobs to keep the SSS from going bankrupt if the increase is implemented.
In a statement, Gordon pointed out that the real problem of SSS pensions is the government’s failure to generate jobs that the private employees’ pension fund only has a small number of members who are able to contribute regularly.
“Dapat aprubahan na ang dagdag sa pension, para mapilitan ang susunod na administrasyon na kumuha ng mga investor at paramihin ang trabaho. The problem of the SSS pensions is really about the failure of this government to truly create jobs. Less jobs, less contributions. More jobs, more contributions. Bigger pensions,” he said.
Gordon, who is running for Senator in the forthcoming May 9 presidential elections, further noted that the present administration appear to have no sense of urgency in truly addressing poverty, no sense of urgency in expanding the economy, the tax base, for people at the bottom of the pyramid and not those on the top.
“Para yang cake na pinaghahatian ng mag-asawa kapag wala pa silang anak. Habang dumarami ang mga anak, paliit din ng paliit ang parte sa cake. Kung Malaki yung cake, mas malaki din ang parte ng bawat isa. Sa SSS, pag maraming worker na magbibigay ng contribution, lalaki din ang pension,” he said.
Gordon, who has successfully created jobs in the various agencies that he had handled, opined that the government is relying only on the income of the fund, but not finding ways to grow it, particularly when the country has a strong workforce with its young population unlike other countries like Japan, which, due to its shrinking and ageing population, is having problems maintaining pensions because not enough people are working to support the elderly, not enough people are contributing to the system.
He said the job of government is not simply to increase the pensions of retirees but to increase investments and create more jobs in order to address the growing poverty in the country.
“The job of the entire government – DTI, DPWH, DOT, LGUs, DA, etc. – all agencies must work as a team to increase investment, and create jobs. When more jobs are created, then there will be more SSS members to contribute to the system. With more and more people contributing to the system, the fund will grow, and pensions can increase. It’s not about dividing the pie, it’s about making the pie bigger and last longer…But we need to create jobs for the people. Trabaho po ang solusyon,” the former senator stressed.
Pres, Benigno Aquino III has been under fire over his decision to block the proposed P2,000-pension increase in the SSS. Aquino earlier used his veto power against the SSS pension hike proposal due to concerns that it would weaken the financial viability of the SSS.